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Get back to nature Near Newton Aycliffe

Close to the A1(M) between Darlington and Durham, new town Newton Aycliffe is a great base for nature lovers. Its Aycliffe Nature Park has grassland, wetland and marshy habitats with orchids, Great Crested Newts and sparrow hawks aplenty. There's also a wildlife walk along the banks of Woodham Burn, part of the Great Aycliffe Way. For something to keep the kids going on the 12 mile circular stretch, giant sculptures along the way include a spider, sunflowers and a newt.

Bounce, climb and relax at ROF 59

Not your average activity centre, ROF 59 has 75 trampolines, a dodgeball court, 3 slam dunk basketball hoops and jumps bags - not to mention the 20m climbing wall with a 13m overhang and roped slabs and walls. There's special sessions for toddlers and beginners options on the walls. Planet Leisure has ten-pin bowling, roller skating and laser quest plus karaoke rooms where you can unleash your inner diva if you fancy a different kind of competition.

Make time for a visit to Durham or Darlington

Historic Durham is practically on your doorstep just 12 miles away with its beautiful Cathedral, Castle and the Medieval Crook Hall and its gorgeous garden. Planning a trip to Newton Aycliffe? Why not try the Travelodge Darlington Hotel in the pretty market town just 7 miles away. Alternatively the Travelodge Durham Hotel is just as handy.